News has been released that Spring Hill Prison now holds some of its oldest inmates since reports began back in 2015.
It comes after Charity Age UK announced that their findings shows the increasing number of older prisoners across England and Wales. Showing these increasing numbers is now mirroring the country’s ageing population.
The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) shows the figures of how 24 inmates within the Prison are ages 60 and above within Grendon and Springhill prisons. This showing a six per cent of the 403 total prisoners are overaged.
Across England and Wales, almost 5,000 prisoners were aged 60 and over in September – 6.2 per cent of the 78,500 people in custody.
This increase in numbers now shows a 4.7 per cent increase from the year before, and is showing the highest proportion for that time of year since records began in 2015.
When the statistics were first raised almost six years ago, the percentage was held at 4.6 per cent. Since then it has risen to 5.9 per cent, and now it has risen to its highest of 6.2 per cent.
A previous report written by Prison Phone had released that the growing aging population within Prison was due to the growing number of cases of sexual offenses being brought to light from years before.
And now the (MoJ) has also said that the ageing prison population has now been driven by recent increases in the number of prosecutions for historic sexual offences. Confirming the numbers from over a year ago.
Caroline Abrahams, director of the charity Age UK, said: “Our population is ageing and so inevitably this is being reflected in the numbers of older people living – and dying – in prison.
She continues in her statement to say “It is important that prison staff are trained to understand the needs of older people and have access to resources and support so they can meet them.”
Not only this, but recent figures have shown the highest figure since records began in 2000 and double the number there were in 2013 for deaths recorded in custody across England and Wales in the year to September have raised to over 396.
None of these were recorded within Grendon / Spring Hill Prison.
The deaths within Prisons was gathered nationally from last year, holding that the majority of the 281 deaths were from natural causes.
The figures do not indicate which of the deaths were due to coronavirus, but the MoJ said there have been 159 Covid-related prisoner deaths nationally during the pandemic so far – and most have occurred since September 2020.
Frances Crook, chief executive of the charity, said: “Prisons have largely been forgotten during the pandemic, but the rising number of people who have died reveals the devastation that Covid-19 has brought to those living and working behind bars and their families.
“Tens of thousands of people have been held in overcrowded conditions or solitary confinement for months on end.
“It is almost impossible to fathom the mental distress that this will have caused.”
She has asked that the criminal justice system include these deaths in the inquiry into the Government’s handling of the pandemic.